Sunday, September 16, 2007

Beauty and Prosthetics

Before I knew of Sarah Connor or Hellboy, there was Catherine (Beauty) and Vincent (Beast). One of the first "grown-up" (i.e. none cartoon) shows I got into when I was young was the live action TV series Beauty and the Beast. I have memories of lying down at the foot of my parent's bed watching Vincent running off to save Catherine from some danger. You know, cause women are always getting into trouble, fictional or otherwise (kidding!). This show was probably one of the things that introduced me to the beauty of poetry and fostered my reverence for books. A lot of poetry and prose is entwined into the series and it seemed all the characters loved to read and were always carrying books. Those scenes under the city in the tunnels seemed to me what poetry would look like; sepia, soft focused, deep, dark and peaceful. Here's the intro to the series:

What inspired this entry is the theme song to the show. I've had The First Time I Loved Forever in my play list ever since I knew what a play list was. It was one of the first songs that went into my MP3 collection and it's never been off it ever since. Click play below to listen to the song:

I never get tired of listening to it.
It was sung by Lisa Angelle. The poem read by Ron Perlman was written by E.E. Cummings, entitled Somewhere I Have Never Traveled. The song itself was written by Melanie Safka. There is an interview of her at this link where she briefly tells the experience of writing the song. She deservingly won an Emmy for it.

I guess the reason why the song recently resonated with me more than usual is the fact that our wedding anniversary is coming up (Sept 18). And to my surprise, when I was writing this and doing some fact checks, I found that the show is going to be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The show premiered on September 25, 1987. Fans have put together a series of documentaries where they share their love for the show. You can find them all on YouTube, here's a link to the play list. Didn't realize that Beauty and the Beast had an annual convention.

I remember having a crush on Catherine (Linda Hamilton) at that time. See how I had to qualify that statement with "at the time"? Men, that's what being married does to you. Of course, even if I met the 1987 Linda Hamilton now, I wouldn't flinch. Cause I love my wife very much and she's way more beautiful than Linda Hamilton (now Mrs. Cameron). The fact that my wife reads this blog has nothing to do with why I felt it necessary to make that statement. Nothing at all. Honest. (*love you!*)

Hey, speaking of Hellboy, Hellboy 2 (The Golden Army) is already filming. Guillermo del Toro, Ron Perlman, Selma Blair are all back. Also, according to IMDB, del Torro turned down directing Halo (offered by Peter Jackson) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince so he can direct Hellboy 2. Wow, I can't wait. Loved the first one. Guillermo has mentioned that he wanted Hellboy to be a trilogy.

When I was writing, I was thinking to myself "Ron Perlman should do book tapes". Well, apparently he's been doing that for awhile and he does a lot of voice acting too. He's done several popular DC and Marvel characters. Here's a list of his credits on Wikipedia. It's far from complete. Here's a link to for a list of his book tapes.

Also, remembering watching this series when I was young also brought back memories of my favorite snack: Munchies! It was made by Jack & Jill snacks, if I remember correctly. I used to go to our neighbor's sari-sari store and get it along with a Coca-cola 500ml. Of course, I didn't carry any money back them, so I just tell the person minding the store to put it on my mom's tab. My mom tells me that I use to bring all my friends at that store and get everyone something and also put it on her tab. Sometimes she tells this story fondly and other times she gives me a stare down afterwards.

Does anyone remember Munchies? It was a cheese snack, a wavy zig-zag shaped thing. I remember the pieces being big. It made Chiz Curls snackers look like wimps. I loved it! I think it was phased-out in the 90s. I wonder why. It wasn't doing well? I don't see any Munchies mutant babies around, and I'm perfectly normal (hold the objections). Hey, if some rookie working in URC food corporation is looking for a good idea to make his career, here 's one: bring back Munchies! I tried to look for relevant content on Munchies on the websternets. I was saddened to find nothing but brief mentio
ns. I was expecting to find tribute sites and all those kinds of things. You have failed me Internet! I thought you to be the compendium of all things good in the world (as well as a generous amount of really nasty and outright horrible things).

"DAMN YOU INTERNET! DAMN YOU!!" he shouts as he shakes his fists at the computer. He runs out of the room, crying like a little girl, into the rainy dark night. After a few minutes of running (well it was actually less than a minute, cause he's fat and all that) he stops and leans against the brick facade of an old neighborhood store (it was a pizzeria, he went in that direction by instinct). He tries to catch his breath between the sobs (you know, cause it's the most work-out he's had for months). It was then that he noticed a silhouette in the dark alley beside the store walking slowly towards him. The figure is wearing a hood, which made its presence even more ominous. Fear grips him. He is frozen and too tired to run again (fat!). Just before the stranger stepped into the beam of light coming from the street light, it stops. His heartbeat skips, and his breath quickens. The figure moves and reaches inside its cloak. Light hits his face when he moves his head to gaze at the man. It is Vincent!

He looks down at the stiff and silent man cowering underneath the weight of his stare. He speaks to the man "I know what it is you're searching for." The familiarity of Vincent’s voice soothes him and he remembers to draw breath. Vincent continues "It is a hard life, living under the city. We cannot farm and grow our own food. To live the life we chose, we must forget pride. Or at least the type of pride that those who live above espouse. We scavenge. We take what the city discards, we take what you forget. So it was with what you search for. It was forgotten. Unceremoniously purged from memory. Only small voices inquired where it had gone, only small voices uttered its name. But small voices are fickle, they learn to love other things quickly and they soon forget. Thus it was for this thing, and the memory soon faded."

Listening distracts him from his fear and he manages a question, "This is how it was forgotten, but how was it lost?". Vincent answers "There was no great love among the people here for this thing even at it’s birth, when it initially came to be among you. So it was that its makers stored it away. This away place we found as it was connected to one of our passages. We waited weeks, months, for we do not take anything that might create attention. No one came, so we took a few. Still no one came. So after another long wait, we took a few more, and then again. This we did until nothing was left, but still no questions were asked and no one looked for them. It was a long while before we saw somebody again in that place. But they did not come to look for what we took. They came to store new things, new things that we did not touch for men came often to take away and store these things."

This revelation overwhelms him, he asks "So you have all the Munchies in the world?!" Vincent smirks "Look at my fingers, and my lips, they are yellow". He was shocked "I thought that was because you were the same shade as the lions of far away Africa!". Vincent laughs "My fur is naturally a darker brown, I'm just covered in cheese and that makes me look golden. We've lived off Munchies all these years. Man, I tell you. You do not want to be caught down in the tunnels at night. That's not fog you're seeing. Flatulence down there is so thick it started diffusing light.

Man: Wow, brings a whole new meaning to cutting the cheese huh?
Vincent: You're telling me.
Man: Can I have some Munchies?
Vincent: Nope, we have to ration it so that it lasts a few more years.
Man: Please!
Vincent: Well, you can lick my fur!
Man: Thanks man! You're the beast!

So what do you think? Season 4 episode?


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the read.
Jim Baldwin

echu said...

thanks jim, that's what it's all about.

btw, i signed the petition. it makes a compelling case for melanie to be inducted to the rock and roll hall of fame. i wish you all the luck.

Anonymous said...

Happy Wedding Anniversary!

Unsugarcoated Reviews said...

i remember this show! i used to watch it too as a kid...

my oh my, has it really been 20 years?!

echu said...

thanks jeng! :) hehehe, 3 years! :P

cyberpunk - can't believe it's been twenty years too! when i first found out it was the 20th anniversary, i figured the syndication of the series in the Philippines must have been really delayed. Then I saw '1987' and thought "oh yeah, that was around the time i began seeing it".

who would have thought a guy named 'cyberpunk' use to watch beauty and the beast! hahaha, kidding!:P

Anonymous said...